I was in the fourth grade when I first laid eyes on Harry Potter. Yes, “laid eyes” ’cause I haven’t heard of him before. It was November and I was at home watching television as the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone trailer was flashed. To be honest, I did not have any idea what it was all about. I didn’t know that it was a novel, or that it has (was bout to have) seven parts. I have never heard of J.K. Rowling and Dumbledore and Hogwarts. All I knew was I had the hugest crush on the boy and I have to see the movie. And so I did. Twice, that is.
I remembered trying to memorize and copy Hermione’s lines (“It’s leviosa, not leviosar!”), counting all their subjects (Herbology was quite remarkable – Devil’s Snare!) and even memorizing the cast one by one. I was possessed. I talked about it all the time with my class- and service-mates. I spent most of my time on the internet googling anything Harry Potter. I even asked glow-in-the-dark wands from my mom and dad for christmas that year and started my mini collection of HP stuff – from pencils to pillows to towels and T-shirts.
And then, I started reading the books.
No words, I tell you, could ever compare to how it made me feel. I wasn’t just a fan anymore, I was part of it. It was, like, this whole other dimension where magic and reality unite. The characters were like my long lost friends and the life lessons each of them learned, I learned too. It’s just, the list of things that the books have made me is endless and crazy.
And last Thursday, July 14, 2011, the most-awaited moment of every Potterhead has arrived. 7 books, 8 movies, and 10 years of my life – and now we are getting to the bottom of everything. Sure, the story has ended years ago when the final book was released. But for big fans like me, the films have brought the sensational novel to a different level which played a very big part in my childhood, my adolescence, and my life in general.
Thursdays are my most stressful days in school. I have Technical Drawing and Computer Graphics classes which are the most exhausting of all my subjects combined. Okay, maybe not, but you get the point. Last Thursday, however, I managed to deal with differently. I finished everything on time and my mood was brighter than usual. Thanks to my reserved Harry Potter tickets, there’s no stopping me from watching the epic ending that day.
I arrived Town with my best friend at 4:30-ish pm and our reservation was not until 6:00. So we managed to have late lunch at Taters (been craving for days!), take loads of pictures (which are not in my possession so I can’t post it yet,) and talk about how crazily excited we were, even though I already know how it ends. By 5:00, kids started pouring in the ticket lines, most were in their Hogwarts uniform with their wands held high. Others were in their Potter jackets, the one Harry wore in the Triwizard tournament, which I was really envious about ’cause I always wanted but never got one. It felt really good to be surrounded with fellow Potter fans that night, waiting in the cinemas, feeling the rush of excitement for the last time.
Inside the movie house, various types of people have occupied the seats. Families, couples, barkadas, soloistas, and us – two best friends who happen to have a synchronized free time and is actually willing to ditch school/work for Harry Potter. As the movie started, everyone instantly fell silent and was then engulfed by the big screen.
Tears welled up in my eyes since the Warner Bros. logo appeared. I knew how emotional I’m gonna get as the film progresses. Flashbacks from the book are coming back to me, comparing them to the scenes as they unfold. Crying scene #1: When the protection over Hogwarts was being built. Why cry over this one? Even I cannot understand. I was just like, “Ohh my god. This is exactly how I pictured it…” It was inexplicable. And I’ve been crying for the rest of the movie.
The thing is, I wasn’t the only one being this emotional. You can hear people around sniffing and silently sobbing, especially when Harry was saying goodbye to Ron and Hermione; when he was talking to his dead loved ones about death and all. It’s like we are about to lose a family member or a dear friend. Crazy, indeed. But the most unforgettable moment of the night for me was the ending, when the last scene faded to black and before the credits rolled – it brought chills down my spine when the crowd applauded, while some even howled, as the familiar music at the end of each HP movie started playing. It was the best movie experience in my life, watching the epic finale with an epic crowd.
You know, to some, it’s just another ending of a series. But to me and the rest of the fans, it is something that lives on beyond the films and the books. It is something I will be sharing to my children and be telling to my grandchildren. Just like the great Joanne Kathleen Rowling has said, “Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”
Catch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, now showing in the cinemas near you.